Take one extremely cool monster, add a dash of nostalgic humor and creepy fun, sprinkle it with some really fun characters, and mix well in a bucket of gore and practical effects, and you’ve got a recipe for a real horror treat! Which is exactly what PG: Psycho Goreman is—a treat. A treat, a joy, a pleasure, and many other positive adjectives. PG: Psycho Goreman is ridiculously charming and taps into everything that is fun about the horror genre.
Psycho Goreman is written and directed by Steven Kostanski and stars Nita-Josee Hanna, Owen Myre, Adam Brooks, Alexis Hancey, and Matthew Ninaber. In PG: Psycho Goreman, two siblings unwittingly resurrect an ancient alien overlord that has been entombed on Earth for millions of years. The pair nickname the evil force Psycho Goreman (PG, for short) and use a magical amulet to control their newfound “friend” and force him to obey their every command—shenanigans ensue. The fun is cut short when the kids realize that PG’s presence is drawing the attention of fiendish forces from across the galaxy. Can they count on Psycho Goreman?
Nostalgia is a powerful drug and Psycho Goreman rides on that high. The film evokes the creature designs of Saturday morning favorites (think the heyday of The Power Rangers), the creepy factor and adventure of The Goonies, and the gory thrills of the late-night double feature. It’s a heady combination that all but guarantees a delightful viewing experience.
It’s always exciting to see practical effects pop up in horror, but it’s an even greater pleasure to see them done so well. Psycho Goreman showcases truly innovative practical effects, with an impressive spectrum of creature designs and gnarly gore and kills. PG, himself, is an absolute triumph of design and is instantly iconic in both his look and performance. These elements are a rare and wonderful find in contemporary horror, and it is wonderful to see a film lean in so fully.
Psycho Goreman is many things, but it is certainly not pretentious. In fact, it’s a little absurd. The film is completely honest with itself and embraces its own scrappy identity. The plot, sense of humor, and definitely the characters are all completely over the top. For the most part, this works to Pscyho Goreman’s total advantage. That being said, with certain characters and scenes, the caricatures are more grating than humorous and dwelling on them ultimately slows down the action. The parent characters are most often guilty of this. While I can appreciate the push for a family angle, the child characters are much more interesting and pull off this brand of humor much better.
As I said at the outset, Pscyho Goreman is an absolute treat! Midnight movie devotees are going to find so much to love, and younger/freshly inducted horror fans are going to find this particular brand of gore accessible and delightful. Accept PG: Psycho Goreman as your overlord. I promise it will be a good time.
PG: Psycho Goreman was released on Shudder on May 20th, 2021.
Movie Score: 4/5
[Image Credit: Above image courtesy of RLJE Films / Shudder.]